My photo of my yard looking toward the field
Through the season of decent into darkness, we find the glimmer of light that brings transformation and healing. It is an alchemical process of transforming coal into gold.
I am coming out of a soul dive, a dark night of the soul, which, for me, extends over the lunar cycle around Winter Solstice. This happens every year for me. Some dives are deeper than others, but a descent all the same. Before I became aware of the value of my dive, I would become depressed. Since, I’ve learned that depression is a symptom of pushing away the darkness. And there is no pill that can cure that. I’ve noticed that sometimes the response from others, when I share that I am descending, is “Sorry”, or encouragement to be positive, happy. Being “happy” is contrary to a soul dive where I descend to poke around in the shadows and expose uncomfortable things. There is usually not happiness there, but a feeling of trepidation or fear of what unconscious part of myself, or my view of the world, I had not been able to access otherwise. A place to examine beliefs, childhood and ancestral myths, illusions. It is a journey within, a feminine venture. It is akin to a vision quest when one is deprived of food and sometimes water and left alone in a natural place to see whatever truth is ready to be revealed to the individual who is seeking answers, change, vision. A state of ecstasy may come with clear vision, but is not necessarily part of the descent process. The descent might involve facing demons and monsters.
Darkness is a concept some humans judge as “not good”, “to be avoided”, “negative energy”, devil, depression and bad. It is also a place of the feminine, entering the cave that is the womb of gestation. Within the human psyche, it is a place where our shadows reside, directing us from within the subconscious. Each year, the sun moves lower in the sky on a shorter arc. Days get shorter, the air gets colder. Animals seek shelter into long sleep. Trees and plants go dormant after shedding their flora. Within the soul, a decent into darkness is an alchemical process, part of a vast cycle of life.
As we step through the opening into darkness, the great dark maw beckoning to us to sink deep into its pillowy softness, we enter with trepidation. Who has the courage to face the illusion of demons that await? The demons that have attached themselves to our back. Those demons we have created into monsters through neglect. Will there be battle or simply turning to face them? Will they devour or reflect? Will we embrace them as an innocent child who carries the burdens of her ancestors, the regrets of an emerging adult, the mistakes of an imperfect human, moaning and sobbing together creating cleansing waters to remove the dams that block the flow of aliveness? This is some of the juiciness of life. When we shed our spark of light on the shadowy crevices, creating fires of life passion, coal turns to gold and we receive a renewed divine invitation to dissolve into all that is, the True spark of life.
We then crawl up into the opening filled by light, stretching our muscles as our eyes become accustomed to brightness. Like a babe being born, we return changed, transformed, strengthened on the inside. Then the process of integrating the wisdom shown to us begins again.
Some are called to this journey. Some are pushed into by circumstance. We are asked at times in our lives to seek, to look beyond the skin of our material lives. We make of it what we are able. Sometimes a seasonal visit, sometimes a momentary glimpse. Whatever timeline we give it, there is healing that happens.
An artist renews this process every time she faces the beginning of an original work. The desire to inspire emerges. This “shining the light on shadowy places”, alchemizing perceptions and truths into images of reflection, recorded as collective observation or personal statement. By channeling the beauty from this process, wounds get healed individually and, when shared, collectively.
I have read writings of contemporary mystics lately who say we are in a cultural, evolutionary descent into our collective shadowland. I believe the more willingness we bring to the descent, the less suffering we will experience collectively. Ignoring, denying, resisting, fighting may lengthen the process, may disrupt the healing we seek, that our existence needs. Will we ignore that we feel what the other feels?
I think we have it in us, as true humans, to join hands and assist each other in facing the demons that have been created individually and ancestrally; to cry the tears that will cleanse the wounds of toxins, so they may heal. We are able to compassionately embrace innocence where we plant seeds of renewed human being with all that exists. We will invite divinity by feeling love, gratitude, appreciation, empathy. And in our humble prayers, ask for grace, for forgiveness.
In this way, we heal us, we heal our world.
Each season offers us another opportunity, another way to experience beauty and to heal. Autumn into Winter opens the door into the deep dive. As the season unfolds, I will speak of the experience of what Winter into Spring offers. Whatever the offering, bringing that experience into my body, into my heart connects me to the divine magic of the unfolding of being truly human. Not a perfect human. A true human in all our expressive forms.
Blessings on your journey. In whatever manner you choose to venture, go softly with compassion and empathy. Be gentle and love deeply.
Sincerely from a wild soulful heart and with love, Lisa
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